Web Server for Android : Paw Server
Acting as a control center for your Android, users can make phone calls or send SMS & email by inputting the text within the webpage instead of the device. The action will then be executed by the device; phone calls, emails etc. File explorer, picture viewer, and easy download grease monkey scripts are a few more truly handy features of this application. The folks at PawServer have included development tools as well should you want to create dynamic webpages that use the functionality of your Android device. Bottom line: It’s a full featured app. After installing Paw Server and visiting the provided URL (from a desktop browser) users can manage and utilize a litany of options like controlling the app process list.
Download any of these apps by viewing the codes using a barcode scanner app.
Erase your footprints: History Eraser
This app is the ultimate tool for paranoid Android users who want to cover their tracks. The UI provides quick links to erasing call logs, contacts, browser history, apps and miscellaneous data like search shortcuts. Each category offers multiple options. As an example, the Market Place (apps) erase feature offers a few options; Market search histories, GoogleMap search histories and YouTube search histories. Overall a quick solution for wiping the Android clean.
Free SMS: TextPlus
I don’t pay for a texting package. Why? Because I have an app that allows for free texting within the US & Canada. If you text this is a must-have on your Android device. The app supports one on one conversations with friends even if they don’t have the app on their mobile device. TextPlus also has tons of community chatrooms to join. Sadly there’s not yet a version in the Market Place that supports taking/sending pictures but I just spoke with a member of the team and he said it’s on the way very soon. Text Plus additionally supports worldwide free app to app messaging. Very nice! (said in my best Borat voice)
Security: Lookout Mobile Security
Lookout Mobile, the company who has outed several nefarious applications in the past has an app to notify you of malicious scripts/apps running on Android. After installing the app there’s not much effort required on the users end. Lookout Mobile will automatically scan for viruses when a user downloads a new app and will additionally perform anit-virus scans of the entire system. The settings can be tweaked to reflect the frequency of the scans; weekly or daily. Nicely there’s an option to backup the device’s data in the same fashion. Similar to apps like Where’s My Droid, it will also empower users to locate lost devices. The lost device feature can locate your Android on a map, activate an alarm on the device or nuke (erase) the data if it has in fact been stolen.
iTunes Music Syncing on Android: DoubleTwist
Double Twist provides users with an easy solution for the business of transferring tunes from iTunes to Android. This app requires users download the Double Twist desktop application which nicely comes with a built-in Android Market browser and a podcast channel. Within the app, users can create playlists, surf radio stations, watch video, play tunes and scrobble to Last.fm. Coming from the iPhone, one of the biggest challenges I had with Android was its music players and their inability to integrate with iTunes.
Using an external Keyboard with Android: ShareKeyboard
Not a fan of mobile keyboards ? No problem. ShareKeyboard allows users to input text using a real keyboard. Using the magic of WiFi users can use their computer’s keyboard using a web browser, similar to Paw Server. ShareKeyboard must be activated within the settings and the input type must be changed to ‘sharekeyboard’. After that, just input the IP address (using your desktop’s browser) found beneath the keyboard on your mobile device. Typing will appear in real-time on the device. I find the ability to copy and paste text & urls within the web browser a super handy tool.
Productivity: Smart Taskbar
Increase productivity by creating quick launch taskbars for frequently used apps.
So imagine you’re browsing pictures within the photo gallery then decide you want to launch one of your favourite apps. If you’re like most people you hit the home button to launch the desktop then open your list of apps to find it. With Smart Taskbar you could have simply activated the app by tapping on the semi-transparent button flush to the left/right of the screen. Users can customize the taskbar, organize apps and add widgets, apps or labels.
Addictive Gaming : Angry Birds Lite Beta
The wildly popular app on the iPhone and iPad has made its way to Android Market Place –a huge win for Android gamers. The game is basically a physics-based puzzle game peppered with comical cartoons. In short, the objective is to knock down forts and pop the pigs that stole the angry bird’s eggs. This is done by the use of a pee’d off bird and a giant catapult. This is a crazy addictive must-have game for Android users.
Like the look of pics taken with old school cams?
RetroCamera has a beautifully designed interface with numerous effects which are changed by choosing from a list of retro camera models. Each one of the five cameras available in the free version offers an outline of the recipe for the effect; saturation level, contrast, scratches, colour cast and the best case use for the effect (indoors, outdoors). Photos can be shared directly with social networks from the slick built-in photo gallery.
Powerful Note Taking, List Making and Product Searching: SpringPad
SpringPad brings a high level of organization to note taking apps. It’s jam packed full of ways to document a thought or task. Users can create check lists, scan the barcode of a product, add a voice memo, take pictures and jot down notes. There are few handy databases (online) for finding and saving information as a memo which include recipes, wines, movies, books, products and restaurants. By searching for ‘cake’ in the recipe database for example, the recipe can be saved with a note or with media and added to a quick task list. The content created can be shared or discovered by the SpringPad community however users can assign the content public or private.
Check out Part 1 of our 10 Must-Have Free Android Apps.